The retired list.
is said to have suspended around his cabin the chronometers of the Yankee vessels he has captured, like the scalps with which an Indian warrior keeps the record of his triumphs.
The Administration of the United States
have an army of scalps about as numerous as Capt. Semmes
's chronometers, but they are the scalps of their friends, not their enemies.
— perhaps Meade
will soon be added to the list — there is hung up at Washington
a ghostly army of the scalps of great Generals
, each of whom, in his turn, was the most extraordinary warrior that the world had ever seen; but who successively became transformed into miserable shams and humbugs, and perished ignobly at the hands of their own friends.
They now constitute the retired list of the U. S. Army, not by act of Congress, but by failure to redeem the exaggerated and ridiculous expectations of the most boastful and arrogant people on the face of the earth.
We have no tears to shed over the fate of these departed heroes, but no policy could be more unjust to their officers, and none more suicidal to their own interests, than that which they have pursued.
In all probability Winfield Scott
was the best soldier they ever had, and if he had been suffered to remain at the head of the United States Army we should have had more trouble than any of his successors have been able to give us. A high European
authority remarks that, a General who can boast that he was never defeated is a General who has not fought many battles.
But the single defeat of Manassas
was enough to unhorse "the great soldier of the age," as Scott
was once admiringly termed by the Yankee
press, and after him the "Young Napoleon
," and after him all the rest, until it is now the recognized law of Yankeedom that one defeat decapitates a General.
We are glad that no such insensate practice has been adopted by the Confederate Government.
Whilst it is obvious that a General who has manifestly shown his incompetence, or who has lost the confidence of his soldiers, should be relieved of his command, it is the grossest injustice and rankest folly to deprive a true and tried soldier of his hard-earned laurels on account of a solitary disaster.